Bullying in the Nursing Workplace
You’ll be surprised to know that nurse bullying in the workplace is something that
actually happens in some institutions. Nurse bullying is an extensive
problem that begins way before nursing schools and continues throughout a
nurse’s career. A good percentage of nurses quit their first job due to the
negative behaviours of their co-workers and bullying starts to develop.
Effects of Nurse Bullying in the Workplace
A bullying culture contributes to a poor nurse work environment, increased risk to lose patients and lowers Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).
Incivility is a term used to describe rude, disruptive,
intimidating and undesirable behaviours that are shown towards another person.
Incivility is any kind of action that is offensive, intimidating or hostile and
interferes with the learning or practice environment. Incivility, bullying and
violence in the workplace are serious problems in nursing. It is rude, discourteous
and disrespectful. It’s quite unfortunate that workplace incivility negatively
affects employees’ mental health and emotional well-being and may cause
anxiety, depression, fatigue and somatic symptoms among the nurses. These
negative emotions and physical consequences can ruin a nurses’ development of
their work abilities.
How to Avoid Nurse Bullying in Health Institutions
Employees are encouraged to be proactive in avoiding workplace
violence by volunteering to participate on workplace violence prevention
committees, attending prevention trainings offered by the employer, being
familiar with the workplace violence prevention programs and policies and
reporting all incidents. Uncivil behaviour may be in the form of insulting
comments, spreading false rumours, dirty looks, social isolation and being disruptive.
There is also the existence of mean nurses. Mean nurses have an exaggerated
sense of self and want to be in control of all aspects of the work environment.
They want to control how others take care of patients in hospitals and to
control happiness at work.
Which are the Common Forms of Nurse Bullying?
Bullying can range from incivility and exclusion to physical
violence and death threats. Since there are several acts of bullying, they are
divided into covert and overt behaviours. Overt bullying is easier to
identify as it includes techniques such as extreme micromanagement, verbal
criticism, name-calling, insults and direct threats. On the other hand, Covert
bullying is indirect and passive. It includes rumours and gossip, withholding
information, unfair assignments, low grades or undesirable tasks like
punishment and sabotage. Currently, social media, text messaging, online
platforms and even video games have expanded the act of bullying. This involves
direct harassment as well as indirect hate. Even if a person does not intend
the comment to be seen or deletes it moments later, cannot stop others from
taking screenshots and sending them to the target. Because of this, it is known
that social media promotes bullying towards individuals and groups.
According to The National Institute of Occupational Safety and
Health (NIOSH), there are four types of violence that nurses might face in
their work environment. These are:
- Criminal Intent- The bully has no relationship with the victim and
the violence is carried out in conjunction with a crime.
- Customer/client- This is the most common healthcare assault as the
bully is a member of the public with whom the nurse interacts with in the
course of their regular duties.
- Worker-on-worker- In this case the bully and the victim work
- Personal relationship- In these incidents, the victim is being
targeted as a result of an existing exterior relationship with the bully, with
the violence taking place in the workplace.
Some of the ways to deal with rude co-workers are: having a strong
mindset, not taking it personally and
staying focused among others.
Nurse bullying not only affects the productivity of individuals but can also lead to adverse effects such as depression. In order to learn more about this vice, log onto nursingwritinghelp.com where a team of professional nursing writers have expounded more on this.